Verizon welcomed and openly supported the plan to repeal existing net neutrality rules confirmed by the United States Federal Communications Commission earlier today. Shortly after the FCC revealed its Commissioners will vote — and likely approve — the controversial initiative on December 14th, Verizon Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Kathy Grillo issued a prepared statement saying that the largest mobile service provider in the country is “encouraged” the by existence of the effort that it claims will help the industry thrive and innovate going forward.
The statement reiterates Verizon’s previous critical comments on Title II regulations enacted by the FCC in 2015 under former Chairman Tom Wheeler which allowed the agency to classify Internet service providers as utility companies and thus prevents them from selling prioritized access to the World Wide Web. The main goal of that decision was avoiding scenarios in which ISPs are able to throttle connections to certain websites, hence preserving the neutrality of the Internet by forcing providers to e.g. treat Google.com no different than AndroidHeadlines.com. Verizon’s latest remarks called the FCC’s attempt at “restoring Internet freedom” a step in the right direction and a return to a bipartisan regulatory framework that fosters openness, investments, and innovation.
The issue of net neutrality remains far from bipartisan, with many Democratic politicians, individuals, and entities calling for the remaining rules to stay in place as they only benefit consumers, which Verizon suggested isn’t the case. Verizon remains adamant that it supports the principles of net neutrality but that former Obama administration opted for the wrong approach to enforcing them. The replacement for the existing rules will supposedly insist on transparency from ISPs in regards to how they protect the open Internet but leave the matter of prosecuting them in case they break their own policies to the Federal Trade Commission, Pai suggested earlier today. Claims that Title II regulations discouraged investments haven’t been backed by any hard data that survived wide scrutiny to date, with numerous opponents of the plan to repeal them saying such a move only benefits big businesses. The full contents of the highly controversial proposal officially supported by President Trump will be published tomorrow, November 22nd.